Thursday, July 17, 2008

Puck of Pook's Hill by Rudyard Kipling

“The children were at the Theatre, acting to Three Cows as much as they could remember of Midsummer Night's Dream.”

So begins a time of magic for Dan and Una. It was Midsummer’s Eve and the children have performed the play three times, unwittingly, inside a fairy ring near their home in Sussex. The summoning calls up the mischievous Puck, the last of the People of the Hill left in merry old England. Puck gives them the gift “to see what they shall see and hear what they shall hear, though it should have happened three thousand year;” through which they witness a host of characters who tell, through their stories, the making of England.

Kipling’s adventurous tales and accompanying poems, including the well-known “If-” and “A Smuggler’s Song”, blend familiar accounts of history with fresh and unique insight for the enjoyment of adult and child a like.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Confessions of a Shopaholic is a wonderfully charming tale about a 20 something writer for a finance magazine. Becky Bloomwood lives in London with her roommate, Suze. Becky is in tremendous debt because of her spending habits. She can't resist buy a new top or pair of shoes and tries to justify why she needs all new clothes.

To take control over her spending Becky buys a self-help book and after a disastrous curry dinner she comes clean about all her spending to her roommate who suggests that instead of trying to spend less, Becky should try to make more money.

One hilarious disaster follows another, as Becky tries to eliminate her debt while avoiding her bank manager.

Written by Amber Young

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen

by Susan Gregg Gilmore

Remember your childhood dreams of getting out of the life you were living? Going to the big city, or the dream job, or the perfect life that you could accomplish, if only….? That’s exactly what Catherine Grace Cline does, dream. She and her sister spend every Saturday during the 1970’s sitting at the Dairy Queen talking and planning Catherine Grace’s big escape from Ringgold, Georgia, the smallest of small towns, population 1,923 and only one traffic light. She had bigger plans for her life than to be the wife of a farmer and grow tomatoes. And to top things off, Catherine Grace’s father is the preacher at the Baptist Church and raising his two daughters on his own. Believing in God and knowing what her father had taught her, she also prayed everyday for God to take her out of Ringgold.
Every detail of Catherine Grace’s moving to Atlanta after her high school graduation was planned out and working in perfect order. But even the most perfect plan always has a few twist and turns. There is Hank, her father and sister being left behind, and the lack of funding for the move. But neighbor and longtime family friend, Gloria Jean Graves, steps in and helps Catherine Grace live out her dream. She moves to Atlanta, gets a great job and is even next in line for a promotion, but tragedy calls her back to Ringgold. When Catherine Grace returns, life as she had dreamed would never be the same. But in dealing with this tragedy and the other surprising events that occur, Catherine Grace begins to realize she was living out the wrong dream. She was trying to escape the one place and the people who really were her dream life.
It took tragedy for Catherine Grace to realize her blessings. Sometimes we don’t realize the true blessings that surround us. In reading this wonderful story, I was reminded that I should not always pray for more, I should look at the blessings that God has already given to me. Although “Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen” is a work of Fiction, it could have been true, and spoke to me just as if it was a testimony for life.

Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes

“Fascinating, agonizing…Superb.” – Birmingham News

Charlie Gordon, born with a low IQ of 68, has been offered the opportunity to increase his mental capacity. He will be the first human guinea pig for an experimentally surgery that the researchers hope will increase his intelligence. The doctors are optimistic as Algernon, the white mouse they experimented on, has become extremely smart.

As the effects of the procedure begins to show, Charlie's intelligence expands at a phenomenal rate surpassing even the predictions of his doctors. His old memories return with clarity and Charlie begins to understand that being smart and remembering comes with cruel shocks. He begins to remember his childhood rejection by both his family and schoolmates. At the bakery where he worked, Charlie soon learns that the people he had always called friends had always been making fun of him. His sudden intelligence makes those who previously knew him uncomfortable, and Charlie comes to the realization that he no longer fits in his old world.

While Charlie is still trying to find his place, Algernon begins to deteriorate. Now Charlie must use all of his superior intelligence to find out if the same thing will happen to him.

Told through heartrending “progris riports” that Charlie is asked to write for the researchers, this intense Hugo, Nebula and Oscar winning classic gives voice to the vast emotional journey of Charlie experiences.